Kadoma miner disaster: How my brother was ‘killed’

“Since the fatal day, I have been getting into the mine shaft and call Blessing.

“I shout on top of my voice thinking may be he will respond so that we can assist him. But all this has been in vain. I am no longer sure he will survive because it has been 13 days now and thousands of litres of water has been drained since day one,” narrated Noah Ncube, the elder brother to Blessing Ncube, one of the artisanal miners still trapped underground at the Cricket mine where 26 people have perished.

“We have been doing Chikorokoza (Artisanal Mining)  for years now together with my young brother Blessing Ncube although I had temporarily switched to the business of selling honey because it is dangerous to be involved in chikorokoza (artisanal mining) during the rainy season because we are in February and it is a rainy season.”

When the Zim Morning crew visited the scene Zimplats had supplied a high-powered horse pump which draws 63 000 litres of water per hour. The pump had run for twelf hours non-stop.
Noah says he warned his younger sibling not to go to Cricket mine as it was dangerous to do so during the rainy season but Blessing did not listen.

“I am now into the business of selling honey at the moment because it is dangerous to go down at the moment, I warned bhule (Blessing) not to go to the mine and I offered him one bucket of honey but he didn’t want to do that,” said Ncube.

According to Noah, Blessing left home disguising that he was visiting his friends in the mining area yet he was going for mining.

The mine was operated by the German and was first mined in 1949.

“The is a world underground which we all do not know, biblically we think of hell but it is not hell it is just a Germany shaft mine which has different areas which are known as kitchen, Dining, Neshinari  (National) and kumadhoti.

“Kitchen is where the artisanal miners used to enjoy their food from. The miners have a dining there too, most of us think of a modern-day dining where we can enjoy our meals with family and friends but theirs was a place to relax.

“When Zimbabweans hear about a place called National they all think of Mbare but this is not National from Mbare, the one we are talking about is underground and it holds the special stone which is gold just like Mbare National which has produced golden players for Dynamos De-mbare,” he said.

“Kumadhoti, like every where in the world we all need somewhere to go and relieve ourselves. This is the same with miners, they need that place and so it is there.

This is the world Blessing and his other colleagues used to enjoy before the sad incident which was later declared a national disaster.

Blessing was trapped together with Axveir Zvitiki, Cosmas Zvitiki and Evans Chibawa.

Axveir and Cosmas Zvitiki are related and their bodies were retrieved from the mine last Thursday.

Benny Dzumbu, the mine manager, said the local youths are operating the mine as a community project.

“This mine was given to local youths by Joseph Charles Baxter as a project to sustain our lives and a lot of young people have been surviving through mining here,” said Dzumbunu.